If there's one thing that can be found in most New Yorkers' apartments, it's this: Ikea. But that isn't true for Aliza Aufrichtig, a 20-something education enthusiast who's slowly furnishing her apartment with anything but the inexpensive particle board wares. Aufrichtig moved into her Brooklyn Heights studio following a break-up with a Park Slope one-bedroom and the boyfriend she shared it with. Her move to Brooklyn Heights symbolized a new start: both in her personal life and in her surroundings. Her resolve to furnish without the help of the Swedish furniture purveyor was born out of a desire to have things that will lasther college-era Ikea furniture barely withstood her prior move from Californiaand to be surrounded by things that tell stories. There are, after all, few anecdotes behind a Billy bookshelf.
Aufrichtig moved to New York City to take a job with Flocabulary, a company that she says produces educational hip-hop music akin to Schoolhouse Rock. Aufrichtig left Park Slope for Brooklyn Heights because it put her a walkable distance from workwalking is such a hobby of Aufrichtig's that she says she's strolled the length of Manhattan several times, and walked Bedford Avenue from head to toe for her last birthdaydespite shaving space off of her abode.
Aufrichtig's "adult-ified" apartment has also taught her the valuable skill of being neat. Because there are no separate rooms, she can see her mess at any given time. She's gotten into the habit of making her bed. "Previous to living here, I would say I was like a 6 out of 10 on the neatness scale. But again, having to see everything at all times, I've been more like a 9," she writes.
Aufrichtig's love of learning is reflected in her wares: an old school desk from Brooklyn Flea that she says comforts her and reminds her of her days as a high school English teacher in the Bay Area, a collection of books that she writes helped woo her current boyfriend during a dinner party, an analog radio that keeps her from getting lost to the Internet. And most of her furniture also comes with a story: the dinosaur key hook sent by a friend, the steel cabinet she found on her first foray to Astoria, the West Elm bed frame that was the result of a "very expensive jog."
· All House Calls [Curbed]